This truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
After our Fairy Mermaid Princess (Princess Mermaid Fairy?) waved goodbye to the last of the trick or treaters, we turned off the lights and gave The Little her choice of Hocus Pocus or Charlie Brown to help wind down from the excitement of the night. Because nothing blows a 3 year old’s mind more than seeing other kids dressed in a costume.
Momma, look! That boy has a face on top of his other face!
She, who ended up sleeping in her Mermaid Fair Princess tutu-dress thingy – again – chose Charlie Brown… Christmas. So here we are, on November 1st with the first holiday dessert of the year already half gone.
In my defense, we didn’t have a single piece of Halloween candy left over. So we went with the next best thing for breakfast today: Orange & Cranberry Curd Squares.
And these bars aren’t that far from being the greatest things to ever happen to cranberries. Or cranberry juice, I should say.
Pies will get their moment to shine but for now, we’re perfectly happy ushering in the holiday season with a batch of beautiful citrusy & tart cranberry bars.
Plus, it’s far harder to pass off a piece of pie as breakfast.
Orange-Cranberry Curd Squares
A citrusy shortbread cookie topped with a beautiful red cranberry curd.
- For the cookie base:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Zest from 2 small oranges, divided (and fruit reserved for juicing later... or just eating)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cold and cut into 8 pieces
- For the cranberry curd:
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup cranberry juice*
- 3 eggs
- 3 Tbsp yogurt or sour cream
- Powdered sugar, for serving
- 1-2 drops red gel coloring (optional)
- *We're talking about the pure, unadulterated 100% "why did I wear white today" cranberry juice, brands like RW Knudsen. Not the juice cocktail kind with pear and apple juice.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Spray an 8x8 baking pan with non-stick spray.
- Add flour, salt, sugar, 2/3 of the orange zest, and butter pieces to the small bowl of your food processor and process for ~1 minute, until the butter has been completely distributed into the dry ingredients and there are no traces of powder left. (You can do this by hand, it will just take a few minutes longer - just smash the sugar with the orange zest first to better distribute the orange flavor.)
- Spread mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan and press down firmly.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges brown.
- Let cool for 20 minutes.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- Whisk in the remaining orange zest, cranberry juice, eggs, and yogurt until thoroughly combined and lump-free.
- Not overall thrilled with the color of the mixture? Consider adding just a drop or two of red gel coloring. Happy now? Great, let's move on.
- Pour over cookie crust and bake for 20-25 minutes, until just set - the center should jiggle but not be fluid when you gently shake the pan.
- Let cool in pan for 30 minutes and then run the tip of a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen.
- Allow to cool completely before cutting into 12 squares and serving dusted with powdered sugar.
- Leftovers will keep a few days covered, at room temp or in the fridge.
- Fabulous eaten cold and called breakfast. Not that I'd know.
Yields: 12 servings
Estimated time: 2 hours